I was reading some article about Hindu philosophy on karma cycle. There were so many questions that came in my mind, hence I'm sharing here what I gathered. Of course I believe in births and rebirths. I have examples before me in my own family. So I, by no chance can question the fact. So I do believe in karma.
Karma means an act or a deed. Hindu philosophy of karma clearly speaks what we sow is what we reap. We will get benefited from our good karma and will have to pay for our bad karma. Karma can be performed through actions, thoughts or speech.
Karma in Hindu philosophy are classified in three forms viz. Sanchita Karma, Prarabdha and kriyamana or Agami karma.
Sanchita karma are accumulated from our past lives. Since we cannot endure or enjoy all karma in one life, hence we reap the effects, sweet or sour in the following lives, depending upon how much we have accumulated. These are considered consumed only when the person has enjoyed the fruit because of good deeds or suffered due to bad deeds and not otherwise.
Prarabdha is the present fruit bearing karma, which is a portion of accumulated karma that a person has to suffer in any case in present life.
Kriyamana karma are the ones for which we are working in our present life and which will shape our future later.
Only in human life we can change our future destiny. After death we loose our ability to act and perform until we take another birth again in a human body. And when we reap all the fruits of our deeds from our past and present lives, we get free from the cycle of births and rebirths and attain Moksha or salvation.
Once asked from a saint, "what will decide if we will get a better life or worse life in the next birth, how will we get to know about it", his reply was "every person knows what karma he has done and hence knows how next birth will be for him..."